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50th Anniversary!

So, my grandparents 50th anniversary is coming up in April. We are throwing a party for them (of course), and we are wanting to keep it a surprise. Any tips on invitation wording? Also, what sort of turn out should I expect for an anniversary? We will be inviting about 150 people. Half? Less than half? Just curious. TIA!
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Re: 50th Anniversary!

  • You're inviting 150 people?!  Are they long-time residents of a small town?  Even then, I would imagine only relatives and very close family friends will come.  You might want to rethink the 150 because you're paying for invitations and 44 cent postage for people who won't come.

    We did my grandparents' 50th (family only) over 15 years ago.  The invitation (which now hangs on the wall in their house, that's how I remember) read:

    Shh, It's a Surprise! 

    Join us for X and X's

    50th Wedding Anniversary

    <details>

     

    Just as an aside since I'm not sure how far into planning you are, but have you all collectively as a family discussed money?  It's a sticky subject, but it needs to be decided now, before the guest list is created and plans are made, that John is chipping in $500 and Mary is chipping in $350 and so on.  Family and money don't mix, so be upfront about it now to avoid drama.  (You don't need to answer, it's none of my business, I'm just speaking from experience.  We've done the 50th, 60th and 65th, so we've kind of got it down now.)

  • I'll admit that I was not part of the planning of my grandparents 50th, but there were over 100 people there. Mostly because we have a big family (they have 10 children, each have 5 siblings, etc) and are very active in their church with many friends they have known for 20+ years. They actually did a vow renewal and had a mini "reception"/ party in the church annex. My dad, aunts and uncles did have to have serious discussions about money before hand, because it's a lot of people. I think we ended up with punch, soda and water, cakes and many snacks- fruits, veggies, cheese and crackers, etc., a slide show of their wedding, family and relationship playing in the background. There were a lot of photos of their wedding, so that was really sweet.

    The biggest discussion was about alcohol, as half wanted alcohol and the others did not, partially because of the expense.  

    Do you think your parents would be feel comfortable with such a large group surprising them? Just make sure you take that into consideration, as this can be very, very overwhelming. I didn't even have 150 people at my own wedding! 

    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/ab19id.jpg[/IMG]
  • I literally smacked my forhead at your grandparents 50th.  My parents are getting close to that.  I iz old.

    Anyway, pps have some good advice.  Set a budget and really look at your guest list.  150 wouldn't be an unreasonable expectation in my large family, but if most of that list is friends or aren't travel ready you may get some answers to how many will show.  I'm not sure anyone here can answer that question.

  • I always forget about the gigundo families some of you have ;)  I just don't know anyone IRL with families that big.  My grandparents had 4 kids and DH's had 5 and both families now have just 20 members each.  If you want to count more distant cousins, you only add like 5 people per family.

    But I was figuring OP's 150 wasn't all family bc conceivably family would all come and she wouldn't be planning on just half if that were the case.

  • Hehe Tar.  My mom is one of 5, 4 surviving.  I have 28 first cousins, not couting spouses.  Our last T-day topped out at 63.
  • image 6fsn:
    Hehe Tar.  My mom is one of 5, 4 surviving.  I have 28 first cousins, not couting spouses.  Our last T-day topped out at 63.

    We don't have an appropriate eye-bugging-out icon lol.

  • image randimarie86:
    So, my grandparents 50th anniversary is coming up in April. We are throwing a party for them (of course), and we are wanting to keep it a surprise. Any tips on invitation wording? Also, what sort of turn out should I expect for an anniversary? We will be inviting about 150 people. Half? Less than half? Just curious. TIA!

    This depends on who you are inviting.  Are most of these people family?  Close friends of your grandparents?  My dad/aunts/uncles hosted a surprise party for my grandparents 50th and wanted to basically re-create a wedding reception since they never had one.  I think all but maybe 10 people came.  There was about 100 people there. 

    We have a very large family though- my grandmother is one of 7 or 8 and my grandfather is one of 4.  My dad is one of 5.  All of their siblings and many of their nieces/nephews traveled here for the party.  They also invited members of their church (its a very small church) and most of them came as well.

    Set a budget first and plan for most to come if your guest list is mostly family.  50 years is a pretty big deal and most family wont miss that.  Then if you get a lot of no replies, you will be well under budget which is always a plus.  Your biggest thing to plan withing a budget will be venue/food/drinks.  I know that the budget for my grandparents was around $6k and it was done VERY nicely.   

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    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/24g24xe.jpg[/IMG]
  • image TarHeels&Rebels:

    image 6fsn:
    Hehe Tar.  My mom is one of 5, 4 surviving.  I have 28 first cousins, not couting spouses.  Our last T-day topped out at 63.

    We don't have an appropriate eye-bugging-out icon lol.

    There's a reason we rent a church camp in the woods for Wed-Fri of that weekend- a huge room, campfire space, bunks, and most importantly INDUSTRIAL KITCHEN.

  • Yes, I know 150 is a lot, but I went through my address book, and just counting my grandparents siblings (and their children) and first cousins, I am at around 65 already. I know my grandmother would want us to invite all of their children as well, even though most of them won't show. My grandparents also owned their own business for 30+ years, and have lots of acquaintances through that, that they still speak to today, and continue to do business with. The party will be taking place at my cousin's home, who has more than enough space to accommodate that many people. my husband will be making a large pot of jambalaya, I will be making their cake, and other family members have already volunteered to make the rest (fruit/veggie trays, chips/dips...). Everything is pretty much set. Thanks for the input.
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